Julia's House for Lost Creatures
by Ben Hatke
Cover Artist: Ben Hatke
Review by Gayle Surrette
First Second Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781596438668
Date: 02 September 2014 List Price $17.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Julia's great big house arrives near the sea. She gets lonely and decides to let out rooms to Lost Creatures. It doesn't take long for lost creatures of all types and shapes and sizes to show up asking to live in Julia's house.
But all is not well because Julia is working very hard and no one is helping. Julia realizes that there needs to be rules and chores for everyone if they are to live together comfortably. Especially when housemates include a patchwork kitten, a sad troll, a dragon, a mermaid, and many others -- each with special problems and needs.
Young children often chafe at rules and chores. This book cleverly leads readers to understand that often rules are not arbitrary. When more than one person lives in a house, the rules help everyone understand what needs to be done to make everyone happy and comfortable.
Lovely drawings of lost creatures. Many of the drawings have a sense of humor and whimsy that adds to the story but the underlying message of working together for the happiness of all by cooperating is not hammered home -- it's as gently posited as the pastel colors and simple story.